Post-Conference Perspectives: Advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors - Episode 6

Other Noteworthy Data From the 2019 ESMO Meeting


Jean-Yves Blay, MD, PhD: There are several pieces of information that are very much of interest for the management of patients with GISTs [gastrointestinal stromal tumors], maybe 2 directions that are worth considering. The first 1 is the importance of the quality of management of patients in reference centers. There has been a large set of publications in the recent years showing that patient survival, patient outcome, is much better when patients are managed in high-volume centers with strong multidisciplinary expertise working within a network. And this is true for GIST and our publication in this field this year, also being presented at ESMO [the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress] 2019.

At the other side of the spectrum, there is interesting information on the importance of the immune system for GIST. And the characterization in general of the immune alteration observed in patients with advanced sarcoma, including GIST, first, looked to be important prognostic features; and second, may guide the development of immunotherapy for the treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumors as well. There are trials that are exploring immunotherapy in this patient population, and we very much look forward to that as well.

Brian Van Tine, MD, PhD: I think what was neat about ESMO is that it really is a meeting that’s hit its prime. We’re now announcing major phase III studies at ESMO. And so instead of just waiting for ASCO [the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting] once a year, I think having INVICTUS come out here is really just showing that the quality of ESMO and the participation at ESMO is really positive. It’s just another prime meeting at which really exciting data come out.

Transcript Edited for Clarity